To the People Who Tell Me, 'It Must Be Nice to Lie in Bed All Day'

I know.

Ideally, nobody wants to have to work. So, while my lying in bed for a good portion of the day must seem appealing to you — I can, hand-on-heart, tell you my chronic illnesses are not.

Do you know how exhausting it is to just lie in your bed, only able to muster enough energy to get up to use the bathroom or shower? If I had a choice in the matter, I would much rather not be in horrendous amounts of pain incurred by putting a T-shirt over my head and dislocating my shoulder in the process.

And yes, I would love to be able to work long hours so I am able to afford the aids and medication that I so desperately need — or even to be given the chance to meet up with friends that I haven’t been able to see in a while. But I can’t.

Laziness isn’t fueling my need to rest. Fighting multiple chronic illnesses is.

I am unable to live the carefree life that so many other people my age do, because I am so worried about my next visit to the doctor, my upcoming hospital appointments and the results from the abundance of tests I have undergone. Even remembering to take my pain medication is a struggle.

I used to dread the day I would need mobility aids as an elderly person, but now, at 18, I need a wheelchair.

I will forever remember the time my physiotherapist told me that an 86-year-old patient, who she had seen prior to me, had stronger bones and muscles than I did at age 16. She told me everything would get better if I just exercised, yet here I am two years later, with more medical specialists than I have friends and family.

Saying that you would rather be in my position does nothing but reaffirm your ignorance.

I am a young, chronically ill, full-time student. I am not lazy, I am a badass.

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